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200 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 85611 22-Jun-2011 09:21
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I have a portable USB (NTFS) hard drive that (I think) was unplugged while still working.
Now, when I turn it on, it just constantly seeks.

Is there any way that it can be recovered from this state?

Is there any more information that you need?

All suggestions will be gratefully received.

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xpd

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  Reply # 484184 22-Jun-2011 09:38
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Brand / model is a good start point :)

So when you plug it into a machine, it just ticks over and never appears to the OS ?




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Master Geek


  Reply # 484213 22-Jun-2011 10:08
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OK. It's quite old.
The brand is MPD - well that's the case anyway.
It has a 5V power supply and a power on/off switch.
It has two lights: a blue power and a green light.

When you plug in the power and turn it on the blue light comes on and there is a couple of seconds disk activity.

When you then plug it into a USB port on the computer, the disk just starts a rhythmic slow paced seek routine. The Blue light goes purpley red and the green light flashes red slowly in time with the seek routine. It never stops and the computer doesn't find it as a USB device.

From this state:
- If you unplug the device from the USB port, it goes back to just the blue light on and a couple of seconds of disk activity
- If you turn the power off the blue light goes off and the green one stays on.

If you then turn the power on again it sort of goes click click click ...... etc. The Blue light goes purpley red and the green light flashes red/green in time with the clicks.

 
 
 
 


xpd

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  Reply # 484290 22-Jun-2011 11:46
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Sounds like either a drive thats given up, or the power adaptor for the enclosure isnt pumping enough juice into it. My little WD external drive does similar when i plug it into some USB ports on PC's - its USB powered but if the USB port dosent put enough current through, the drive just clicks - soon as I plug it into another USB (usually rear ports) it works fine.





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Master Geek


  Reply # 484583 22-Jun-2011 19:27
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It May be that, but I'm more inclined to think it was caused by unplugging while it was still working ie reading or writing data.

Is it possible that this caused a corruption of the format and if it is, could I find a way to force a reformatting of the drive?

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  Reply # 484987 23-Jun-2011 13:10
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Try TestDisk might well be able to fix it up.






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Master Geek


  Reply # 485034 23-Jun-2011 14:20
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Thanks for that suggestion James.
A quick look at the documentation suggests that before I could use this on the disk, the computer has to be able to "see" it.
Can you confirm that this is the case?

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  Reply # 485043 23-Jun-2011 14:38
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I had a similar experience and found that plugging the drive into another computer using a Y cable (using two USB ports and their power) cleared the disk fine after it ran a disk check.

It also subsequently worked perfectly on the original machine after that was rebooted.

Good luck,

R.

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  Reply # 485062 23-Jun-2011 15:19
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PSLog: Thanks for that suggestion James.
A quick look at the documentation suggests that before I could use this on the disk, the computer has to be able to "see" it.
Can you confirm that this is the case?


I am not familiar with Windows, so can't answer that for you.  It is free open source software, what do you have to lose in trying?




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  Reply # 485139 23-Jun-2011 19:25
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I am trying that on my mates failed WD USB drive, will let you know how it goes.

Windows doesn't pick it up at all, pried open the case (it clips together) and connected it to a sata port. Think it might not be recoverable tho.




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  Reply # 485153 23-Jun-2011 20:04
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Thanks Webwat, I'll be interested in how you get on.
It;s difficult to see how such software could be any use if the OS doesn't even know there is a drive there.
I'll have another go in the weekend.

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  Reply # 485158 23-Jun-2011 20:14
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It does say that the drive must be detected with the correct size to work, but it detected my drive even though its not displayed in windows. Still scanning, basically runs in DOS but mite get results!




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  Reply # 485254 23-Jun-2011 23:15
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Well I couldn't recover anything with that software but probably because hardware is stuffed. However watch out that the program saves a huge log file in the directory you run it in. After 4GB of logging "unreadable" messages I gave up.




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  Reply # 485360 24-Jun-2011 11:12
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If the PC can't "see" the drive then you won't be able to scan it with Windows. A bootable tool like MHDD (marvellous app) will scan a drive if it can be seen by the BIOS but not necessarily by the OS. If something has eaten the partition table then unless there's something REALLY important on the drive, I'd just give up on it.

Portable drives tend to use pretty power powersupplies so you might try cracking the case open and physically plug the drive into a IDE/SATA port on a PC motherboard, that way you take the USB controller and power adapter out of the equation.

Some drives (like the cheap Western Digital ones) use proprietary controller-boards built into the drives themselves so if the USB->SATA controller fails, you throw the whole drive out unless you can happen to find one from a 100% identical model to swap over. The cheap 3.5" drives also seem to be quite prone to failure in my experience.




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  Reply # 485372 24-Jun-2011 11:41
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For what it's worth, I've used GParted on several drives that will not show up on a Windows machine, and recovered them to full working ability.

GParted runs on Windows so no problem there.

R.

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  Reply # 485462 24-Jun-2011 13:42
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CORRECTION - my apologies, GParted is an ISO file that you burn to a disk and then run it to boot your computer and use the program.

Other Win apps I've used for hard disk recocery are EASEUS Partition Manager, HD Tune, and MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Cheers,

R.

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